I see that you are originally from Brazil. What do you enjoy about working internationally?
I enjoy working with people from different cultures, and I think you gain a fresh perspective when you expose yourself to a new culture. I think this diversity of thought is critical for any company’s success. Fortunately, the global nature of my work at DSM offers no shortage of opportunities to engage with a diverse set of colleagues around the world.
You recently joined the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Division Board of Directors. Why did you decide to get more involved with SPE?
While I was pursuing my master’s degree at the University of Waterloo, I had the opportunity to present my research at several SPE events. We were invited to share a detailed technical presentation to an audience of industry experts, and SPE also used the events to raise money for scholarships.
This made quite an impression on me as a student. These professionals were taking the time out of their busy schedule to learn more about my research and provide their valuable feedback. The feedback helped me understand how my research was relevant to real-world challenges and helped provide a confidence boost very early in my career.
I enjoy supporting SPE because it gives me the opportunity to come together as an industry and help the next generation of students as they begin their careers. It’s also a great opportunity to network with our customers and industry peers to stay informed about the latest technology and best practices.
What advice do you have for others that might want to get involved in trade associations such as SPE?
I understand that some might be hesitant since it requires a commitment of time or some of the activities might be outside of your comfort zone. However, I think the benefits of active participation in nonprofit organizations are invaluable.
As I’ve mentioned, it’s an opportunity to learn from current customers, prospective customers, thought leaders, peers and even competitors. More importantly, it’s an opportunity to come together as an industry to overcome common challenges. For example, we can all agree it’s important to support our communities and the next generation of engineering talent.